EV Charging

What is the Cost to Use a Tesla Supercharging Station?

Pierce Keesee
Pierce Keesee
January 12, 2022
What is the Cost to Use a Tesla Supercharging Station?

With recent advances in EV battery technology, EVs like Teslas are capable of traveling long distances and the emergence of more and more charging stations is increasing the favorability of EVs compared to gas-powered vehicles. 

While electric charging infrastructure is improving due to advances in solar technology and investment from government and private sectors, the level of charging infrastructure still requires significant expansion. 

When you are on the go, it is important to know where the nearest charging stations are located and what charging options are available. Here we discuss the different types of charging stations and what you can expect from each to support your next long-distance journey.

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EV Charging Stations

Electric charging stations come in many forms, both public and private. Public charging stations can be used by any driver and are usually installed near highways or other main travel routes. Private charging stations are for customers of a particular business(es). They're often included in parking lots or other areas immediately outside the entrance to a building.

As a Tesla driver, an important aspect to note is that not all charging stations are created equal. Unlike gas stations which provide the same fuel for a broad range of vehicles, EV charging stations draw electricity at different power levels. This can dramatically impact the duration and quality of your EV charge. Low-powered stations can take significantly longer than high-powered stations to reach a full charge on an EV battery. Therefore, it is essential to know where charging stations are located and their available charging capacity. 

To more accurately determine the charging time, you need to know the available charging level at a given charging station. Depending on the station manufacturer, the power of the electrical supply to the charger, and the type of Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) being used, the amount of power a charging station provides to a Tesla or other EV can vary. Here are the different levels of charging stations that Tesla drivers can use to power their vehicles. 

Level 1 Charging Stations

Level 1 charging stations use a 120-volt power source and can fully charge a vehicle overnight. However, they are largely inefficient compared to other charging station levels. This supply equipment connects to the electric vehicle via the J1772 connection or a similar attachment piece created for Tesla vehicles. Since EVs require more power to charge quickly, these stations are best used when the vehicle can be parked for an extended period of time or in emergency situations.

Level 2 Charging Stations

Level 2 charging stations are typically installed in the owner's garage or are placed in public parking lots and commercial areas. They have a 240-volt power source and sit squarely in the middle of the charging speed spectrum. They also connect to the vehicle via a J1772 or Tesla analog. With this charging level, EVs can be fully charged in under 6 hours, charging at a rate between 10 and 80 miles per hour. This makes it a more ideal charging option than Level 1, but installing an at-home charging station can be an expensive option.

Level 3 Charging Stations

Level 3 charging stations provide the fastest charging time with the most powerful electrical capacity of any EV charger. These chargers come in a range between 400 and 900 volts and can charge up to 20 miles in a single minute. This level of charging equipment is generally found in two formats, either Direct-Current Fast Charging Stations or Tesla Supercharging Stations. 

Direct-Current (DC) Fast Charging Stations

DC charging stations can refill around half of an average EV's battery in 30 minutes. For the current iterations of the Tesla fleet, that adds around 200 miles of charge over just 15 minutes. However, these charging stations are only compatible with certain Tesla models and other EVs that use the Combined Charging System (CCS) standard.

Tesla Supercharging Stations

Tesla Supercharging stations are being developed worldwide, enabling drivers to operate Tesla vehicles over long distances without charging for hours at a time. These charging stations provide charging for all Tesla vehicles and can charge a car's battery in roughly 30 minutes.

What is the Cost to Use a Tesla Supercharging Station?

The cost of using an EV or Tesla supercharging station varies depending on where the charging takes place, when it takes place, and the electricity rates in the country or region you are in. These rates can vary significantly depending on the availability of EV charging stations and their supported infrastructure.

For Tesla drivers with a Model S or Model X, the average cost of using a supercharger is around $0.25 per KW if the vehicle was purchased after January 2017. 

Before you begin charging, the cost to use the Tesla supercharging station will be shown on the vehicle’s touchscreen. According to Tesla, the charging rate is determined by the time the car is plugged in, and some stations offer cheaper off-peak rates for charging at less busy times. Additionally, the free Optiwatt app can help you locate nearby charging stations and identify the cheapest rates for when your vehicle needs to charge. 

Tesla Supercharging Stations Powering the EV Revolution

EV charging stations are becoming more common on main roads across the country and the rest of the world. As the charging infrastructure continues to grow, increased large-scale adoption of Teslas and other EVs is increasing with it. Recently breaching the $1 Trillion USD valuation mark, Tesla is poised to help fast track the installation of charging stations and the underlying infrastructure that supports it. 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Data Center, over 36,000 charging stations are already available in public places across the U.S. The DOE also states that there are over 3,000 dedicated EV charging stations across the country, many of which can charge more than one EV at a time. 

Tesla’s contribution to the U.S. EV charging infrastructure is essential for this growth to be maintained. Though there are a number of charging station companies, Tesla is one of the most popular charging station providers in the world with 2,400 DC Fast Superchargers in the U.S. as of 2022.

Tesla Leading EV Charging Expansion

The Tesla charging infrastructure is an essential component of widespread EV adoption, as a lack of charging stations have historically deterred potential buyers. As technology and charging station availability advance, charging time is becoming less of an issue, establishing Tesla as a dominant player in the green automotive market.

Some prospective Tesla owners might fear that EV charging infrastructure is not as developed as it could be. However, as EVs gain in popularity, more public charging stations are continuing to pop up.

Teslas will continue to be more than capable of taking you wherever you need to go on the road, though some planning may be required to know where, when, and how much it will take to charging your vehicle.

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Pierce Keesee
Pierce Keesee

Technology enthusiast with background in battery building and electronic repair

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